The Journal of John Long
About John Long
Finding John Long's Journal
Significance of John Long's Journal
Treatises and Writings by John Long
Inspirational Poetry by John Long
Photos of the John Long Family
JANUARY 1922: On New Years Day we went to the Pentecostal conference in Ballymena, and heard my old friend William Burton give some accounts of the progress of Mission work in the Congo; he showed me the four gospels which he had translated into the native language. When the Lord wants a man, He knows His man and fits him for the job; very often in the school of experience, and in persecution, affliction; and no man can tell what is in another until time and experience makes it manifest; and a dance at school may through time develope into a great and gifted person when chiseled by the rod of God’s discipline and correction.
On the 7 – we commenced a fortnight’s mission in Ebenezer, it was a good time, well attended and marked with conviction and blessing; upwards of 40 persons were packed into the kitchen; and we cannot tell what the results will be as we are learning that zeal without love may become hurtful to God’s work; and the precious fruits of the Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5:22, 23, are required of God; and to be expected by men in the lives of all who confess and call themselves Christians: without these, testimonies become Pharisaical and may produce proselytes, but never true converts. I am persuaded that some who are looked upon as not saved, are regenerated; and others who are looked upon as saved, have never been truly born again. Regeneration is an internal thing of the heart; and the Divine Spirit may be operating where we least expect.
FEBRUARY 1922: For many reasons we thought to improve on our circumstances by removing to a new home and district. The inward journeys to Ebenezer were very up hill; and a house in a town and near a post office would suit an Evangelist better. At first I tried to get a home in Antrim town, but failed, and succeeded in getting one near Oldstone, Muckamore. Changes in the Landlord’s property proved soon afterwards that we were rightly led. The sorrows and feelings expressed by the Presbyterians in the district proved that our time spent in Ebenezer was not in vain.
MARCH 1922: Before removing our furniture to Oldstone, my wife and I went to Cloughjordan, to the south where we spent one month in the old home with Lizzie and James Clarke. During that time we visited many homes and preached in Adare, Cloughjordan, and Emmel Castle. On the return journey I brought many of my books with me. My library consisted in the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, The Pilgrims Progress, Holy War, Foxes Book Martyrs, Josephus, The Greek Septuagint; The Latin Vulgate, Adam Clarke's Commentary, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Bensons Commentary, Life of D. L. Moody, Prudens Concordance, Bible Dictionary, English Dictionary, Greek, Hebrew and Latin Lexicons and Grammars, etc.; that is my standard library; nevertheless I am always giving, lending, and receiving books on Salvation, Sanctification, Healing and of late I repair worn out Bibles with black Linnenett and Seccitine, and give them away.
APRIL 1922: On the 1st of April we removed to Oldstone, Muckamore. We found new and fresh difficulties there; neither my wife nor I can sing very well and there was no fellowship to help us in the start. It was in their power and ability to help us at our start as they are strong (Faith Mission) in the district but they did not; and refused a give and take fellowship. We found it exceedingly difficult; some families were too reserved and others too free; yet notwithstanding all that the Faith Mission had done; the spiritual need was very great and God hath sent us for an ensign unto the people; also to repair and rebuild the altar of God which is broken down.
MAY 1922: My wife and I visited many homes; and had many talks with the people about salvation; but how very few would ask Christian workers inside; to keep servants of the Lord standing at the door is not to the credit of Presbyterians; however highly they may boast in their Protestantism in the north, Southern Ireland with all its faults is more advanced in entertaining strangers and hospitality.
On Sunday 21 – we had our first little meeting in our new home in Oldstone; the organist from Killeda church, sister Lewis, came and helped us to sing, and a few persons attended.
JUNE 1922: Owing to the people not coming into the meetings; we went out enthusiastically into the highways and hedges, the streets and lanes, and during that month I preached in Crumlin, Antrim, Randalstown, Hoghill, Grace Hill, Ballymena, Kells, Connor, Park Gate, Ballyeaston, Ballyclare; Doagh, BallyCooley, Templepatrick, ______, Summer Hill, Muckamore, Oldstone. More old and infirm persons were reached in this way by the Gospel, than by inside missions; though not popular, or considered as much as it deserves.
The extraordinary circulation of money which existed during the war period and after, has now begun to decline; however the prices of food and raiment are much cheaper; nevertheless not in proportion to the amount of employment and work. Railway fares and Postal rates, taxes and house rents are still only 75 percent the pre-war times. With us there is a great cessation of money: yet we are thankful to testify that we have lacked nothing. Ireland is now under Home Rule; yet things are anything but settled. The people are trying to give us a name; some call us by one thing and some another; however we refuse them all except the name of Christian. Acts 11:26.
JULY 1922: Although labouring for three years in County Antrim, the Presbyterians never asked me to speak once in their churches save a few times in Millrow Antrim Sunday School; until Pastor Irwin, Killead asked me to take the evening service in his church on Sunday, July 1st. The service was impressive and good. On the 12 – I preached in the Pentecostal Church, Castle Street, Ballymena, from Phil. 4:8.
AUGUST 1922: In the first week I was helped by Brother Shannon from Belfast, a Christian post man, and a local Evangelist. He being a good singer was a great help. While in Connor, we visited a man 109 years of age; he still has all his faculties except a little deafness and stiffness. I had purposed in going to Southern Ireland in August; nevertheless the post office strike, also the disturbed condition of the country owing to the rebellion of the republicans, caused me to cancel it.
SEPTEMBER 1922: On the 15th I reached the 50th year of my age alive and in good health. Praise the Lord! The Levites began their service at 25 and completed their active service at 50. Lev. 8:24. From that time they were to minister as elders; but not in active service. The younger was to serve the elder. 1 Peter 5:5. The Evangelist or Pastor, who reaches that age without the reproach of Christ, in being despised and rejected; has not been faithful in all his house. 2 Tim. 4:16.
1. O, God, the King of Glory,
My maker and my friend
Be thou for ever with me
To keep me to the end.
I need not fear the battle,
When thou art ever near,
Thy rod and staff supports me,
Thy word doth guide and cheer.
2. Through fifty years probation,
Thou hast my life preserved.
And all the choicest blessing
Much more than I deserved.
By God’s own grace and keeping
I am alive and well
Then Glory be to Jesus,
I still the good news tell.
4. The Levite in his service,
Rejoiced to be set free.
The trumpet sound proclaiming
The year of Jubilee.
Yet in his holy office
Serving with willing heart
Gray hairs did speak their lesson,
As elder had a part.
About that time our money ran out to ten Shillings. I asked the Lord for a pound; on that very day I received a letter from Banton, Scotland, and one pound in it: thus God heard and answered me the day I asked Him for it. I should not forget to note the kindness shown to us in this district by a few friends whom God raised up namely sister Miller, sister Graffin, and sister Barbour, etc. Yet for Christian fellowship and opportunities of Sabbath indoor ministry it was the scarcest part I have experienced during my thirty years ministry. I felt that lack very keenly. The Faith Mission, who could have helped in that respect rather gave us the cold shoulder; notwithstanding the apathy and indifference, the Lord stood by us and helped us in presence of them all.
OCTOBER 1922: During that month I had many journeys to and from Belfast. On an average I reckon that I do travel upwards of 4,000 miles a year by foot, bicycle, tram, train, car, ship. Also receiving strangers and showing them hospitality, because they belonged to Christ, occupied part of my time.
NOVEMBER 1922: On the 10th, I crossed from Belfast to Fleetwood. I had a circular tour and visited Preston, Leigh, Bolton, Bury, Ramesbottom, Manchester, Stockport, Castleton, Derby, Burton on Trent, Warrington and Liverpool; from whence I crossed to Belfast. I was specially favoured with fine weather, kind friends, and got preaching three times in Preston, four times in Derby, and once in Warrington.
DECEMBER 1922: On the 6th, I crossed from Belfast to Glasgow; and spent one week in Kilsyth, where I got preaching three times in the West Port Hall. On Sunday 10 – I returned again, about the 59th sea voyage. During that year I had less indoor preaching and missions than any other since I started on Faith Lines; yet the amount of Street preaching and personal dealing and out door work supplied the lack; and reached a neglected people: and it was a laborious year as the journeys were many, long, and severe: nevertheless we proved the promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee” “As thy days so shall thy strength be”. Besides tracts, during the year we gave away a large number of New Testaments; also the Calendars were a good success and a fruitful part of our work.
JANUARY 1923: In this book I have not said much about rewards, except those connected with my own mission work; or those that come under my immediate latitude and observation. I have not been privileged to hear or attend any of the revival meetings in County Antrim, held under the labours of W. P. Nicholson; only a few particular friends in whom we were interested got converted at his meetings; and they are real cases.
While most of the revivals recorded in this book, took place in mission halls outside the churches; his particularly has been inside; and he seems to be specially raised up for that purpose. While his meetings lacked reverence, they did not lack power or results. It would be dangerous for any man to imitate him in the extraordinary things he said.
During the last three years, the city of Belfast suffered much from lawlessness; and political agitation and bigotry. During the tribulation of those days; the saints met together in their homes and missions to pray for a revival, and protection, and peace and their enemies. That was followed with a time of salvation, and refreshing all over the city.
FEBRUARY 1923: Coming events rendered it necessary to suspend the weekly prayer meeting in our own home; also the breaking of bread on the Lord’s Day; at the same time the act of God working for us outside our own efforts opened a weekly meeting in the home of Sister Lone, Summer Hill.
MARCH 1923: On the 1st of March, 1923, God blessed us with the birth of a little baby girl; which we welcome as a gift from Him; and a seal on the married life.
1. O what a happy home have I
Plenty of bread and jam;
God’s gifts to me I can’t deny
The cradle and the pram.
2. It was upon the first of March,
Into the world she came;
We dedicate her to the Lord,
And Miriam is her name.
3. It is her parents' prayer and wish,
That she should serve the Lord;
Eschew the evil, do the good,
According to the Word.
4. We want to live down here on earth,
Till parting days are o'er.
That we should meet in heaven at last,
Upon a happier shore.
5. Suffer the children said our Lord,
Forbid them not, He said.
To ransom them He shed His Blood,
And triumphed o'er the dead.
On March 8 – we dedicated Miriam unto the Lord, by a worthy elder James Gault, in prayer.
To Miriam my beloved daughter:-
My grace, mercy and peace attend you all the days of your life. Honour thy Father and Mother; which is the first commandment with promise. Eph. 6:2. Now my child it is our desire and prayers that as you grow up into adult years: that you should personally accept the Lord Jesus as your Saviour; confess Him with your mouth before men. Rom. 10:9,10; and keep His commandments. John 14:15.
See to it that you get
baptized by immersion, at your own request. Acts 2:41. See
to it that you remember our Lord’s death in the ordinance of the Lord’s
supper. Luke 22:19. Live for the Kingdom of God. Always
believe in the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and in the merits of
His precious Blood. Meet your parents in heaven. The Lord will
keep you and provide for you; only live and work for Him. Remember
all God’s promises are yours through faith. Always pray, and daily
read the Bible.
9th March, 1923
APRIL 1923: We were praying for money and asking the Lord to raise us up new friends; as some of the old ones declined. In the year 1920, I wrote a copy of my journal; and left the original at Ralph Walkers, Cloncannon House, Ballygar, Co. Roscommon. A Christian man named Earnest Archay, from Dublin, was staying at his home and asked the loan of it. He was so impressed with the reading of it that he sent me two pounds ten shillings towards the Lord’s work. This is the second money my writings have brought me in.
On the 2 – I took my annual tour to the south of Ireland. For many reasons I think it good and necessary to keep in touch with my friends in the south of Ireland; and to save expense I cycled down. On Monday 2, I cycled to my Aunt Kate Davis in Belturbet; on Tuesday 3, I cycled from Belturbet to Ballygar. On Friday 6, I cycled from Ralph Walkers, Ballygar, to Cloughjordan; on Saturday 7, I cycled from Cloughjordan to Adare; on Monday 9, I cycled from Adare to Cloughjordan; on Friday 13, I cycled to Borrisonossary; on Saturday 14, I cycled to Prospect near Gorey. On Monday 16, I cycled from Gorey to Malahide. On Tuesday 17, I cycled part, and trained part to Oldstone, Muckamore. Besides visiting many homes, and having many personal talks, I preached in Rieinkulla, Cloughjordan, and Emmel Castle.
MAY 1923: On Sunday 6 – I preached in Killead Presbyterian Church in the evening. On Saturday 19 – Brother and Sister Lewes from Derby came over to Ireland for a week, and stayed with us. During his stay he preached at Sister Lones, Summer Hill, on Tuesday 22. On Saturday 26 – we had a very good open air meeting in Summer Hill; also we had three open air meetings on the streets in Antrim; they were good singers and the meetings were impressive.
JUNE 1923: On the 8 – my wife and Miriam, my child, went to the south to see her parents. On Tuesday 12, and on Sunday 10 – I preached in the mission room, Creavery: the numbers in that assembly (which has been so long despised) are increasing.
There is a spiritual awakening everywhere; both inside and outside the churches; among the laity and clergy: here and there, the Lord is sending showers of blessing on dry and parched ground where no water is: church rules, and stereotyped methods of worship is one of the greatest barriers to the liberty and conviction of the Spirit of God.
On Sunday 17 – I preached five times in Hopeden Street, Belfast. Saturday 16 – I preached for nearly an hour on the Street in Belfast. Except the weather was harsh and cold for June, I had a good time both indoors, and in the open air; also in personal dealing, house to house visitation and tract distribution.
Concerning tracts, a word might be said, as some reached us not the very best; nevertheless, my wife and I carefully examine them so as not to circulate error. The tracts written by Bishop Ryle are very good, are simple, spiritual and sound in the faith; also those extracted from John Bunyon's writings. The tracts published by the Brethren, Ann Street Belfast, are rank, yet they contain the Gospel. What makes a good tract? About six pages, large print, pure Scriptural doctrine, and a well selected title.
American literature has to be received and handled with care and caution, as Christian Science denies the Atonement; Seventh Day Adventists deny the immortality of the soul, The Bible Students, also called Russellism, deny the Trinity and the Deity of Christ. There are many other movements while sound on the principals of the Doctrine of Christ, push minor points to extremes; causing unnecessary divisions and contentions. We should be ever cautious not to add to the Word of God, also not to take from it, but to keep balanced, and honest with all Scripture; thus the Bible will be to the upright a precious book.
JULY 1923: On the 5 – I preached in Ballyclare, Ballycasion, Dough, and Ballyure, four times and a good hearing each time.
Because I believe in all the Scriptural gifts and truths some Christians put me down as being in error. We must not marvel at this; but be content to bear the reproach of Christ patiently: it is one of the wounds whereby we’re wounded in the house of our friends. To correct the wrong opinions of others would take all our time; and I am afraid nothing accomplished in the end; however, we must go on with truth for the word of God lives, and the testimony of receivers confounds them.
The Take Heeds of Christ
1. Take heed, take heed, ye Christians,
Let not your alms be known.
Do all to please our Saviour,
Who reigns upon the throne.
For what you do in secret,
As unto Christ our Lord.
In open, and in public,
Shall get a full reward.
2. Take heed, take heed, ye Christians,
That when ye bow the knee.
Your worship is accepted,
Free from hypocrisy.
Then God will give a blessing,
An answer to thy prayer;
In times that are distressing
He shall thy burden share.
3. Take heed, take heed, ye Christians,
Despise no Child of God.
Who pleads the Name of Jesus,
And trusts the precious Blood,
We know not, yea, we know not,
What grace He gives to such
4. Take heed, take heed, ye Christians
In later days arise.
Men working signs and wonders,
Corrupting truth with lies.
But by their fruits we know them,
God’s Word let it suffice.
And let not man unhinge us,
Of a true love for Christ.
5. Take heed, take heed ye Christians,
Bear His reproach and cross.
Rejoice when men speak evil
And count all things but dross.
Our Lord himself forewarns,
Whom men should serve and fear.
With loving words so tender,
Take heed how ye do hear.
The love that’s comprehended
In Christ’s words “inasmuch.”
The following is a summary of the many ways of teaching, and preaching the Word of God. I have marked the facilities with an "X" which has fallen most to my lot; also I have given at least two Scriptures to prove their Divine authority. We mean by a Gospel mission, a session of meetings, organized to bring men and women into the experience of Salvation, by preaching the Gospel message. It is only logical to conclude that the Scriptures had to be written, sold and circulated then as well as now; therefore, I give the Colporteur work a place among the Scriptural list. See Deu. 16, 18; Neh. 8:4 to 8.
Circumstances and places alter the method of reaching people with the gospel, but it never alters an open mouth, and a ready hand to circulate the written Word. Prayer, praise, preaching, has in every age been the most powerful means of spreading the Good news; and God’s seal is always set upon them by the Holy Spirit, in the salvation of precious souls and the feeding of Christ’s lambs and sheep. Glory Hallelujah!
x Personal conversations John 4:1 to 29; Acts
8:26 to 40
x Street & Open air preaching Matt. 5:1; Acts 8:40
x Organised Missions Acts 19:8, 9
Pastorical work Acts 14:22; Acts 20:28
x House to house visitation Acts 4:42; Acts 20:20
x Sunday School work Deu. 6:7; 2 Tim. 3:15 to 17
x Bible classes Acts 17:11; John 5:39
x Prayer Meetings Acts 12:12; Acts 16:13, 14
Conferences Acts 14:6; Acts 20:17
x Scripture Reading & Colporteur work 2 Chron. 17:9; Isa. 52:7
Healing the sick Exe. 34:4; James 5:14, 15
Solo singing & service of song 1 Chron. 6:31; 1 Cor. 14:26
x Tract distribution Ecc. 12:9, 10; Matt. 13:3 to 8
x Giving away books & pamphlets, periodicals, etc. Ecc. 12:12; 1 Tim. 4:4
x Calendars & Almanacs 2 Kings 25:30; Matt. 4:4
x Meetings & Appointments Acts 11:22 to 26; Heb. 10:25
x Family prayer & Bible reading Josh. 1:8; Jer. 10:25
All these facilities may be summed up under four heads:
Preach: Preach the word, 2 Tim. 4:2.
Teach: Teaching them to observe all things, Matt. 28:20.
Heal: Heal the sick, Matt. 10:8. Let it rather be healed, Heb. 12:14.
Buy: Buy the truth, and sell it not, Pro. 23:23.
On the 11 – my wife returned from the South of Ireland and on the 14 – W. Shannon, joined me and we ______ for two weeks at Street preaching; and we had an exceeding good time in many towns and villages in the County Antrim.
Our present home is situated between Oldstone, and Killead, near the end of the Ballyharvey Road. The Faith Mission Hall is on one side, and Killead Presbyterian Church on the other; that made it very difficult for us; as the Faith Mission refused a give and take fellowship; and the Killead minister, though kindly disposed, was rejected by most of the community, because of his political views. Another difficulty mentioned before, was the farmers in the immediate neighbourhood were very reserved, with a few exceptions; and would not attend a meeting; also there were a poorer class, who saw that we were kindly disposed, took the advantage of it and troubled us very much.
AUGUST 1923: On Monday 18 – we removed from Oldstone to Crumlin, as a town is much better for an Evangelist to live in than the country. (So we thought at that time). We confess that God is our Father; the Lord Jesus our Redeemer, Saviour and friend; and the Holy Spirit our life and Comforter; and His Word, the only rule of faith: also that we ourselves are strangers and sojourners on earth as all our Fathers were: Nothing reminds us so much as removing, for the trials and labours are many; nevertheless, advantages of a new people and a fresh field are of great use in the work of the Lord; and always lead to new experiences and more useful friends.
1. I love the dear old Bible,
It is a precious book.
It stood the test of ages,
And Satan’s Kingdom shook.
No other book is like it,
Nor can with it compare;
For it is pure and Holy
Angels and saints declare.
2. I love the dear old Bible,
It is the Word of God.
Given by inspiration,
And sealed by Jesus Blood.
It tells of our creation
And of our sinful fall;
It tells of our Redeemer,
Who died to save us all.
3. I love the dear old Bible,
The record is Divine;
Through faith in Christ our Saviour,
The promises are mine.
For God’s own Word has taught me
From early days of youth;
And I have proved its precepts
To be eternal truth.
4. I love the dear old Bible;
Our rule of faith and guide;
Unto the Heavenly Canaan,
Unto our Saviours side.
The Holy Ghost doth lighten,
And give us eyes to see;
That when we love our Saviour,
The truth itself makes free.
5. I love the dear old Bible,
I’ll read it day by day.
It teaches me to serve God,
It teaches me to pray.
It warns me in danger,
It comforts in distress;
It tells me I’m a stranger
On earth, yet here am blessed.
On Wednesday 15 – We started a weekly prayer meeting in our new home in Crumlin; and on Sunday Evening 18 – we started a children’s meeting; I also started a session of house to house visitation, tract distribution, and personal conversation in the district: it is a work of plowing and sowing, not at all pleasant to human nature but yet essential for harvest.
SEPTEMBER 1923: On the 15 – I reached my fifty-first year of age: and thirty years since I preached my first sermon from Matthew 11:28. See September 10, 1893.
The visiting around the neighbourhood of Crumlin was stiff, yet successful. The children’s meetings held by my wife on the Lord’s Day, were well attended; some of the big girls decided for Christ. The people, either not understanding our work, or not being taught the practical side of truth, did not minister to our necessities; and no help came to us by post so as that our faith was severely tried; and all our reserves used up: yet the filling of the Spirit and the promises of the word were very comforting and manifest during the time. Occasionally I have gone to church services; that does not please some Brethren, who have narrow views regarding fellowship with Christians in the denominations. My answer is none of them are perfect in Scriptural doctrines and church government; and all of them have more or less truth; and God is in the midst of any two or three gathered together in the name of Christ, and if God is there it is not wrong for me. In every Protestant service, prayer, praise, and preaching, together with the reading of the Scriptures, constitute worship; and God blesses these means of grace to honest hearts. It is good to ask the question: What would Jesus do? or what did Paul do? The great reformers and evangelists of the church history were unsectarian; and most revivals were unsectarian in their manifestations. The name Pharisee comes from a Hebrew root which means separate; and although zealous for the law, were the biggest opposers of Christ. Let all true worshippers of God, seek that place where they can get the most Spiritual food; but by no means forsake the assembling of themselves together as the manner of some is.
OCTOBER 1923: Having no fixed or stated salary; and depending on God to put it into the hearts of His people to give to my support, there has been and are a large number of liberal Christians of all Protestant denominations who annually contribute to my work. They chiefly so do when I either send or visit them with the Scriptural Block Calendars: the season for the distribution of them together with preaching, commences about the 1st October; and continues until the 1st February, four months enclusive: this order has continued for many years.
Although not under the auspices of the Elim Mission, I have very largely contended for the same truths. Although they do not preach Believers Immersion, yet they baptize large numbers, as many as sixty together: does not this prove to the Faith Mission that God does and will bless a people who neglect not the ordinances of Christ? Also it proves that when young converts seek and get the Baptism of the Holy Ghost: without contention or difficulty with the anointed eye, they see for themselves what’s plainly written in the Bible; and obedience is their delight. I regret to say from personal observation that the attitude of the Faith Mission towards them is not at all as Christ like as theirs is to the Faith Mission. The Go-Preachers of late years are very exclusive, but wise, and more careful in what they say; but not at all as evangelical as what characterized their testimony from 1897 to 1907, as recorded in this book. The Brethren of late years, by means of tent missions and street preaching have made an honest effort to get people saved, by preaching the Gospel under three principals namely, sin, atonement, and salvation; without influencing converts to leave there respective places of worship: this I say to their credit. I cannot say much for the Salvation Army, overdoing collecting money is not to their credit; yet God uses them in slum districts to rescue some from depths of sin.
NOVEMBER 1923: On Thursday 1 – I crossed from Belfast to Liverpool, for a three weeks mission tour; returning again from Fleetwood to Belfast, it would be the 62nd sea voyage. I preached many times among the various sects; also made about sixty visits. At Castleton, I fell three feet, and got a slight sprain, which detained me two days during stormy weather. On my journey over the peak of Derby, I was caught in a snow storm; on lifting my heart to God in prayer, the clouds broke, the sun shone, and the day cleared up; so as that I arrived at George Brooke, Ashton, safe and well.
DECEMBER 1923: On Sunday 3 – I preached in Creavery Mission Hall, at the Breaking of bread; also in the evening I preached in the humble home of the Kernahans, Esky Lane, to a full kitchen, and a receptive audience. In that district, also in Kells, and Connor, God is reviving his work and a great change is coming over the people.
On Thursday 7 – I took my annual visit to Scotland; and returned on Tuesday, 12; it would be the 64th sea voyage. During the time I preached four times in the West Port Hall, Kilsyth; where God is reviving His work in saving the young people, and adding them to the church.
God has blessed us this year financially: Something about 104 pounds, or two pounds a week was freely given to us. How pleasant to human nature it would be to have a property or income; then there would be the absence of the exercise of prayer and faith; also people would not get the promise and blessing attached to giving; therefore, for our own good and for the peoples’ good, the lines we are on is the most Scriptural and best, namely preach and trust God for supplies.
On Sunday 23 – I walked over to Dundesert Brethren Hall: Before the service began, one of the elders, seeing that I was a stranger, came and questioned me; not regarding my walk with God, neither concerning what I did believe; but to the intent of finding out whether I was one of them or not: I would have thought it rather strange, but knowing the Brethren and expecting that sort of thing, I was not at all surprised. In their blind zeal to keep out error, they reject truth and true servants of the Lord. This was the very thing the sect of the Scribes and Pharisees in our Lord’s time were guilty of.
On Christmas Day, I attended a conference held in Crumlin, by the Faith Mission; it was good, with results; and had a more open and healing effect. On the 26, and 27, I attended a conference in the Elim Tabernacle, Belfast. The place was too small for the people, there was no room even at the doors: about 44 disciples went through the waters of baptism.
During the month, I preached many times in the open air; also I cycled over twice to Eskylane, and took the cottage meeting for Sister Gault. On the 19 – I anointed Miriam, our little girl, for healing; as she had a bad cold and cough: We got the promise, and healing followed very soon. On the 29 – I crossed to England, and spent four weeks doing work for God.
FEBRUARY 1924: My first week was attended with disappointments, which worked together for good in my experience. On the 11 to the 17 – I did a weeks visitation in Norton, and Hilton and Penketh, and Wynich; during which time I did a lot of tract circulation and street preaching. On Sunday 17 – I commenced an eight day's mission in Academy Street, Warrington; during which time I preached on Justification, Sanctification, Baptism with the Holy Ghost, Divine Healing, the Daniels Band, Testimony, Heaven, etc; the meetings were attended with power, and conviction. On the 26 – I returned again to Ireland, the 66 sea voyage; the Lord having dealt bountifully with me.
Although married, my itinerating life has not abated; having within the past four months travelled two thousand miles: on arriving home my wife’s supplies had ran out; she prayed for money to purchase milk with, and on walking into the country found six pence in a ditch which supplied the lack until fresh supplies were forthcoming.
On the 19 – I completed my 29th year out fully in the Lord's work; I am stronger than I was at 20 years old; and not tired of preaching Christ and Him Crucified.
MARCH 1924: On the 9 – I commenced an eight day's mission in Creavery hall; the meetings were well attended; the word was with power without any persecution, which was formerly very acute in that district.
The following piece of poetry is the natural product of my experience during the last two years, so often expressed. Part of the chorus are words I remember reading out of the Christian Herald, about thirty years ago.
1. All who believe in Jesus Christ
Make up one family,
Then why should we despise the least,
Whom Christ our Lord sets free.
Then let us try with one accord
The souls of men to win.
We want no quarrelling here at all,
We’re all for Christ the King.
2. Some who preach Christ are not sincere,
And some His love proclaim.
No matter which if Christ is preached,
We joy in His great name.
3. No Christian friend should we condemn
Whom God has justified.
If God receives, then why not we,
It is our Lord who died.
4. Love is the greatest thing on earth,
For it we need to pray.
Love envies not; but proves itself,
A more excellent way.
5. Our earthly lives will soon be past
And we can work no more;
Then eye to eye we all shall see,
Upon a happier shore.
On the 26 – I started on my tour to the Free State; and cycled to Adare County Limerick, being favoured with fine weather.
APRIL 1924: On Sunday 6 – I started an eight days mission in the home of Sister Smythe, Rieintula; the meetings were well attended for a country district. On my return journey, I helped at an open air meeting near Trinity College, Dublin; where a crowd of two hundred people, mostly Romans listened eagerly to the Gospel preached. On the 24, I returned home, after a tour of 500 miles.
1. Hark to the gospel news proclaimed,
Ye people great and small.
In love God sent His only Son
To save us from the fall.
And this is love I have to preach
Unto my dying day,
That every sinner should repent
And put their sin away.
2. The Spirit and the bride says come
To Christ the risen Lord.
Let all who hear Gods Word, say come,
And wash in Jesus Blood.
3. Repent, believe, and turn to God
And He will take you in.
He’ll give you grace to serve Him here,
And victory over sin.
4. No other name on earth is given
Through which we are made whole;
The name of Jesus Christ is heaven,
To a believing soul.
5. Yes Christ shall bruise the serpents head,
His subtil power destroy.
The Ransomed of the Lord shall come
With everlasting joy.
MAY 1924: True Christians who follow Jesus are, like their master, despised and rejected among men; they are sure to suffer reproach, but it is to be wondered at when it comes from those who preach holiness. God’s true people are practical as well as holy, are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world; and they are the suffering and the accused.
On Mon. 12 – I crossed to England, and spent two weeks visiting in Cheshire, near Warrington. During the time I visited Appleton, Stretton, Hatton, Daresborough, Preston Brook, Acton Bridge, High Leigh, Whittey, Lymm. I had many interesting talks to persons about their souls salvation, and distributed many hundred tracts, also preached many times in various places. On the 3 – I crossed to Belfast, the 68th sea voyage, and cycled to Crumlin.
JUNE 1924: About this time, we had Francis Acheson, an aged Colporteur, lodging with us for a month. For personal conversation and success in that difficult work, he excelled all others that I have met. His testimony concerning Baptism of the Spirit and the gift of tongues, helped to break down undue prejudice in the Faith Mission and others toward us; so as that they gave us some recognition.
On the first week of June, I began my annual open air tours in County Antrim; and had some good hearings in Crumlin, Ballyclare, Connor, etc. A sister in Christ laid by a collection of three penny bits for me which amounted to six shillings and nine pence. A similar occurrence took place in Ashton Under Lyme, in March 1917.
On the 18 – I visited a man who was one hundred and eleven years of age; we hope for the best; yet we would like to hear a brighter testimony from him. If he talked as much about Christ as he did about Presbyterianism, he would be on safer ground; when persons love their sect more than Christ, it’s a sure sign that prejudice reigns.
The great war is a thing of the past, and we are again getting back to normal times; yet it has brought about wonderful fulfillments of prophesy. Palestine has gone from the Turks, and Great Britain has the mandate and is being prepared for the Jews. The league of nations has been formed. Ireland has its own rule. Troubles of another kind abound on every hand, namely: earthquakes, cyclones, cloud bursts, landslides, floods, great hail, pestilence, flu, sleeping sickness, etc. I long to be able to head another chapter with “Revival”.
One of the greatest sins of our time is speaking evil of persons behind their backs; and hindering love, unity, and justice, and the work of the Lord. Personally, I have suffered from it during the last two years; so much that the tendency to retaliate is a great temptation, of which I have to be careful; lest correcting the deceit, I fall into the snare myself; therefore my prayer and purpose is that I may speak evil of no man; and avoid vainglory or boasting. True Christians are at war with Satan; he is still loose, having great wrath because his time is short; and to think kindly and speak kindly, and act kindly towards every member of the body of Christ, should be our constant aim – Lord help me to forgive every one their trespass.
JULY 1924: During this month I continued my summer street preaching tours, with tokens of encouragement and success. On the 5 – I was joined by William Shannon, a saved postman from Belfast, who spent a week with us; this is the third year he has helped me in the open air.
After preaching in Glenavy, an elderly lady, named Sister Johnston invited us into her home for tea; she belonged to the Methodist connection: such an act was kind and thoughtful, and will get its reward. How variously is the 12 – spent in the North, some in Holiness meetings, seeking the deepening of spiritual, and many beating drums celebrating the battle of the Boyne; but I would rather be among the few who enter in at the straight gate and walk the narrow way.
During the month, gifts of Bibles, Testaments, books, brochures, and tracts, were sent to us by post from England and America; also I had to rest my voice and throat, as natural laws have to be obeyed; and a man can only do open air preaching in moderation without hurting himself.
As years roll around, and changing times and circumstances render it necessary to pray that God will raise up new contributions to our support: I have laid this matter before the Lord in prayer daily and have had many answers to prayer during the year. Some are removed by death; others to foreign lands: others waned because of changes in business, lack of work and hard seasons; some through influence of friends, and change of religious opinion; on the whole the loyalty of old friends remain unchanged; and new ones are on the increase.
On the 31 – I preached in the Elim Tabernacle, M______ Street, Belfast, to a well attended audience; from the story of Balak, Balaam, and Israel, with power and good results. See Numbers 22.
AUGUST 1924: On Thursday 7 – I took a tour to Portadown and Monaghan, where I preached in a Pentecostal Mission Hall on Sunday 10. On Monday I cycled to Ballymena, and on Tuesday 12 had a very good open air meeting by the river side, Antrim.
On Thursday 21 – I preached in the Pentecostal Church, Ballymena, to an attentive audience of spirit filled Believers; from the words, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is that good way, and walk therein? and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Jer. 6:16.
On Saturday 23 – I went in the evening to preach in the street, Crumlin; and to my surprise as I went to the cross, five Brethren from Lisburn started singing, and I joined them in publishing salvation; and we had a good time, even though the rain that threatened to drive us away, abated till we were done.
SEPTEMBER 1924: On Monday 1st – I crossed to England for two weeks mission work in and near Warrington. After praying about a supply of literature to aid me in visiting, I called at a former friend, Pastor Heap, and he gave me a big amount of pure gospel literature. During my stay in Warrington I called at upwards of six hundred homes, and had many talks, all sorts and conditions of men; also I addressed mothers’ meetings, class meetings, prayer meetings, open air meetings and church services. On Wednesday 17 – I returned again to Belfast, the 70th sea voyage.
The following letter I wrote to J. G. Govan, director of the Faith Mission; and is a specimen of many letters of a corrective kind written by me in defence of truth; it was written on 30th of September, 1924, from Main Street, Crumlin, Co-Antrim.
Dear Brother in Christ:
Since my former letter was written concerning the Faith Mission attitude of refusing a give and take fellowship with the Pentecostal people, and others who contend for a whole Bible; from the observation and experience I have passed through since it was written I have observed that this attitude has produced many evil effects and fruits. First of all I might say that we have no right to refuse fellowship with any member of the Body of Christ no matter how weak, unless we first tell them their fault, according to Matt. 18:15, and this is a statute in the Faith Mission, also in John Wesley’s Sermons: also we should not despise the utility of any gift or ministry according to 1 Cor. 12:21; tongues enumerated among the rest.
There are scattered among the counties Godly persons, Pentecostal and such like, who would show hospitality to the Pilgrims and Delegates of the Faith Mission; and who naturally would be interested in any mission, revival, or conference; no matter where, or how, or whom the servants of God are that He condescends to use for His Glory. Because they are Pentecostal, or in fellowship with such, they get no place to minister; and are rejected and despised, and this hurts the true spirit of prayer, union and revival.
The prayer union is a powerful means of grace, but what may it become? if used against any Scriptural truth or gift. There is no commandment of our Lord, a carnal ordinance when rightly observed; and any negative stand against any Scriptural truth opens the door for antinomianism and is sure to hinder the work of the Lord.
The Faith Mission seems to be in alliance with the other churches against the Pentecostal people; and there is an underhand boycott to refuse all fellowship with them; they seem to be afraid to speak out, yet go on rejecting a people more obedient and Spiritual than themselves. As an unsectarian Evangelist, and being somewhat neutral I have had an opportunity to judge for myself between the Pentecostal and the churches of other denominations; and the despised people are far more Spiritual and Scriptural than the others. (Omit respect of persons).
In conclusion, I would say if you used your position and influence affirmative on the side of the Word of God (and against the worldly, and the carnal, who oppose the revival) and seek to restore the church to its original Spiritual power and Scripturalness: I say, sir, you would be a blessing.
Now I have done my duty, as a Watchman (not at all a pleasant one) in writing this second time: I hope you will receive my message of warning and correction faithfully.
I am, yours truly in Christ,
OCTOBER 1924: Unto this letter I received on the 6 – the following reply; from J. G. Govan, the director of the Faith Mission.
Your letter of 31st Sept. to hand.
The so called Pentecostal movement as a body, has not commended itself to us; it has over emphasized some things, and has been very censorious on others who cannot agree with them and appear to us as those who make divisions, therefore we cannot welcome them into our Prayer Unions. We do not seek the respect of persons you speak about, we seek first the Kingdom of God; neither are we ______ in any underhand manner.
Trusting you keep well, and that God will continue to use you. Yours truly in His Service
J. G. Govan
There’s ample reason to believe that the Faith Mission, as well as the Methodist, Brethren, and Baptists, are opposed to the gift of tongues; and refuse fellowship with Believers who have the experience; causing a good deal of division, hardness of heart, etc. and severe judgement has overtaken many for this cause; and no matter how they persecute and convey their intolerance, the Word of God abideth; also the testimony of many dear children who have the experience. Unto his letter I gave a fuller reply and leave the matter, having done my duty.
This month of October has been spent in my annual visits in Co-Antrim, together with preaching a few occasions on the streets. On Saturday 25 – I cycled over to Lisburn to hear the notable Evangelist P. W. Nicholson preach; he is a man of God with extraordinary talents, humour, tact, success. I admire him for the way he speaks out against the things which are wrong in the world and in the church, and under his ministry there is a great redemption of sinners. During the month owing to my cycle lamp going out, I got delayed, which resulted in pointing a soul to Christ; also through running into a hedge I broke my lamp, and it resulted in a talk to a man about the things of the Kingdom: thus all things work together for good.
NOVEMBER 1924: On the 1st I arrived in England, for my annual tour preaching the Gospel, and giving away literature and the Calendars; I returned again on the 18, after a very prosperous and labourious tour. After a day at home in Crumlin, I crossed to Scotland on the 20, and returned on the 25th, the 74th sea voyage. It is very remarkable the extraordinary growth of Pentecostal assemblies in the British Isles. They are now divided into four companies, Viz. The Elim Evangelical Alliance, The Assemblies of God, the Apostolic Faith Church, and the Independent Assemblies. There is spiritual life and power among them, and much to praise God for. Although tares spring up here and there among the rank wheat; but we must not lose time by digging them up. We prefer no name save Christian, for names tend to divide the Church of God; also we are open to give and take fellowship with every Christian, who is sound on the Divinity of the Lord Jesus and the Atonement; we cannot help it when they refuse to have fellowship with us.
On Tuesday 23 – I cycled over to Ballymena and preached at the funeral of James Henry; sickness and death were very busy, and the year was the wettest I ever remember, causing great injury to crops: yet there is no hunger or famine for food. On the 24 – I cycled over to Moneyshane in Co-Down; where I held a few days meetings in a Pentecostal hall which were well attended.
We now reach the last day of 1924, with many causes for prayer and thankfulness to God whose mercies endure for ever. It has been a record year financially; as the free will gifts given and sent to us by post amounted to pounds 125 – 5 – 0 ; also, it has been a record year for travelling; as I crossed the sea ten times, and must have travelled 8,000 miles; preaching, and sowing the Word of God beside all waters having preached in Episcopal, Methodist, Brethren, Pentecostal, Mission Halls, Free Churches, cottages, workhouse, etc., besides towns, villages, cities, etc., also from house to house.
This journal is not an auto-biography; it is a narrative of selected facts; therefore I thought it wise not to trouble any readers with a list of my failures and sins not profitable; see preface, also the third verse of the last poetry. It is good to bear in mind that in a journal one cannot help writing about oneself, and using the personal pronoun ‘I’, not with vainglory; but with that humility that becometh sons, giving the glory to God.
JANUARY 1925: Although the number of organised missions during the last four years has been greatly on the decrease; yet I endeavoured to supply the lack by an increase of Street preaching, also house to house visitation, appointments, and personal dealing. Residing in County Antrim as my headquarters, we had plenty of persecution, and opposition, and reproach to live down; the Presbyterians, Methodist, Brethren, and Faith Mission, as a body did not give us much inside openings to preach; notwithstanding we looked to God, and was marvelously helped and now have a wider field and fellowship than ever before taking the whole Bible as my guide; the whole church for fellowship; and the whole world as my parish: In England, Scotland, and Southern Ireland I got far more inside openings to preach the gospel than in County Antrim.
There is nothing discovers the hurtfulness of sectarian bigotry like an Evangelist on unsectarian lines; and unless you belong to their particular sect and creed, they take no interest in your work; yet there are homes and individuals scattered among all these that help our work. They call us by various nicknames, such as Cooneyites, dippers, tongues and holy rollers, etc.; forgetting that our Lord said it would be so and we must take up the cross, and bear His reproach.
There are Christians in all sects, even in Rome; also there is a measure of truth, more or less to be found among them all; and it is a right thing to be a member of some assembly; but I utterly detest that narrow exclusiveness that refuses fellowship with any Blood washed child of God. I have sinned, and it is pardoned; I have my faults, but I live to correct them; I am not infallible in doctrine, but I love to adjust my life and creed by the Scriptures: nevertheless, I tell you I would not change my position as an unsectarian Evangelist for thousands of gold or silver. Which of all the sects among the Jews did our Lord belong? Which of all the sects in the world today would He belong to? I tell you he went among them all teaching, preaching and healing, Matt. 4:23; therefore I conclude because His Spirit is among them all, that He would go among them all calling sinners to repentance.
During the first two weeks of the month I preached in my inner parish; which extends from Belfast to Ahoghill, and from Moirah to Ballnure an area of twenty five square miles, and contains about 22 towns and villages.
At the recent conventions held in Belfast, Ballymena and Largan, by the Pentecostal Elim Mission; Stephen Jeffreys a well known Welsh Evangelist, had cases of lame walking, blind seeing, dumb speaking, and deaf hearing, and sick healed: God is restoring the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and the professing churches are rejecting them; therefore, they are compelled to reform.
I considered it wise here to explain once for all the reason why I am an unsectarian Evangelist. About the time I left living with the rector, to go fully on the Lord's work, I joined the Methodist society for reasons explained in notes for 1895, Chapter 2, last paragraph.
Strictly speaking I never left the Methodist society causelessly, but the doors shut when I resigned the Colportage work to go on Faith Lines; also for speaking out strongly against worldly pleasures in the church: and defending the revival under the labours of William Irvine. See notes on Chapter 3, November, 1899. I still preach for them whenever requested.
Through adjusting my life and work to Scriptural ways and doctrines, I got baptized by immersion in a stream by George Grubb, in Rathmolyn, May 1900; also, saw the birth of breaking of bread every Lord's Day, Randaltown, November, 1902. The people called the Plymouth Brethren, although containing much that’s Scriptural, were always too narrow and exclusive for me; nevertheless many of their members helped my work by gifts of money, and occasional hospitality.
For three years, I laboured in a movable wooden hall; after which I got many openings for missions, in undenominational halls; and working men’s missions in England; and although in the Go Preachers’ fellowship, I was open and unsectarian towards other churches, missions, and members. The time came, I regret to say so, when the Go Preachers’ mission became too exclusive and narrow, so as that I was constrained to leave it in July, 1907.
From that time I have steered a strait unsectarian course; I came under the auspices of the Elim Mission in 1918, but considered it wise not to join it fully, owing to being used to a wider field of service and fellowship. I am convinced it is Scriptural and charitable to have fellowship with every member of the body of Christ; and preach the Gospel everywhere I get an open door. Reader, go to your church, and be a constant communicant; but never despise or reject fellowship with any other Christian. Have I been always faithful? “No.” Has the Lord pardoned me? “Yes.”
FEBRUARY 1925: On Wednesday 28 – January, I crossed to Liverpool for a month's mission work, returning again the 28th February. It would be the 76th sea voyage. During the month, I preached in Brethren, Baptist, and Church Mission Halls; also I preached on the streets many times in the villages round about Oxford. On the 18 – I completed by the grace of God my 30th year out full in the Master's Work. I had an experience that day, strange and trying; yet Divinely overruled for good; after cycling 40 miles from Oxford to Coventary and preaching in the villages six times; I searched three hours for lodging, but could find none; so I walked all night from Coventry to Tamworth, 20 miles, arriving at seven o’clock in the morning I found hospitality in a Christian home, got into a warm bed slept till midday, and regained strength.
During the month I heard from William Long, my brother, who lives in 2 Riverview place, Willimansett, Mass. – the good news that he is appointed to the office of a Deacon in a Baptist church.
In the year 1909, we saw published in papers an account of a woman who was three hours dead raised to life again. There lives today, an Evangelist named William Sanderson, 89 Old Whittington Hill, NR Chesterfield, Derbyshire; whose own personal testimony in Tract form is as follows: “The days of Miracles are not passed. Raised from death to life; cured of consumption, cured of fits. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to day and forever. Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” Gen. 18:14.
MARCH 1925: On the 3 – I cycled to Bangor, Co-Down; and preached in Pit Street, Belfast Mission. On 4 – I attended a Tent Mission in Templemore Avenue, and heard Sister Henderson preach; and for perfection, and power, and sincerity, no man could excel it.
Many parcels of Scriptures and tracts came in by post. During the last decade; the following persons served a prominent feature in supplying me with free grants of literature; Brother Dunn of Belfast, with Travellers Guides and Marked Testaments; Pastor Heap of Liverpool, tracts and booklets; John Goodall, Leigh, Almanacs; William Kenny, Castleton, Tracts; George Singer, Manchester, pamphlets; George Brooks, Manchester, Tracts; Trinitarian Bible Society, Scriptures; Walkers, Ballygar, Books and Bibles; Heyman Waeford, Exeter, Testaments and booklets; The Christian Alliance, New York, Periodicals and booklets: I might add to these many other local names and gifts, sent and ordered from the various and leading publishers in the British Isles.
Since the original days of the Free Gospelers called Go Preachers, the death rate inside twenty five years has been very low, and most of those who then forsook all to follow Jesus are still alive in various countries all over the world; the news has reached us that John Sullivan, a converted School master has died; he having a knowledge of the carpenter trade helped at the building of many wooden halls.
On the 17 – I crossed to England; and cycled to Derby, where I had a fortnight's mission in George Street Mission Hall. On Sunday 22 – we baptized 3 men, and one man got restored. On the last night of the mission, a young woman got converted.
APRIL 1925: On the return journey, I attended the Easter Convention in Derby commencing Good Friday, 10th April. At it I heard the remarkable man of God, Smith Wigglesworth who has all the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians:12. It was a time never to be forgotten, when many got healed in the seats, others got the Baptism of the Holy Ghost; also with water by immersion. Handkerchiefs were prayed over and sent to sick persons at a distance according to Acts 19:12 and some testified to being healed in that way. Many were stirred up to a fuller consecration by Brother Wigglesworth’s addresses on faith, and the chorus: Only believe; only believe: all things are possible: only believe. I got preaching once.
On the 13 – I returned again to Ireland, the 78th sea voyage.
On Monday, 20 – I started on a three weeks tour to the Free State; it was a difficult journey with wet weather: kindness was shown to me by Romans on the way. During the tour I gave away, and put by the way side portions of Scriptures in Irish and English, also I preached in Monaghan, Ballygar, Newtown, Cloughjordan, in the Methodist Church. In Adare, there has been a revival in connection with the labours of a Minister named Hynes, and in Cloughjordan under the sincere efforts of Gerald Armitage and other young men; prayer meetings have revived and there are signs of a revival.
MAY 1925: On the 13 – I returned again after a very interesting and trying tour. Two of my best friends died during the last month, namely, James Allen of Creavery, leaving a small sum of money to be disposed in the Lord's work of which five pounds was given to my wife. The other was sister Cunningham of Limerick city, one who did what she could.
We have now passed through above two years, so wet that farmers find it hard to get their crops sown; and much harm has been done to them by long excessive rain; Disease and sickness on man and beast are very numerous, as well as accident; and the messenger of death is busy everywhere among old and young.
During the month I visited many in County Antrim; and my wife gained access to some homes in Crumlin; conviction is on the increase; and seed sown in some hearts is sure to bring forth fruit; also we visited and prayed for special friends in the Workhouse and Asylum; and had many personal talks on spiritual and practical subjects.
JUNE 1925: On Monday 1 – I crossed to Liverpool and took a train to Hereford; where I preached in an Apostolic church; afterwards I visited Gloucester, where I preached in an upper room, also, in a Holiness Mission hall; next in order I visited the beautiful city of Bath where I preached and broke Bread in an Open Brethren assembly: The weather was very hot, I had many visits and gave away 3,000 tracts. On the return journey I cycled from Bath to Warrington in three days, crossing to Belfast on the 19 – the 80th sea voyage.
I now come to the close of this chapter, and our stay in Crumlin; a
time noted for suffering reproach, for humiliation, also for prayer and
victory; during which my work and field of labour increased perhaps more
in that time than in any other on record: but we must forgive and forget
and step out into the future, improving on the past.
On Monday 22 – June, 1925: we removed back to our former home in Oldstone, Muckamore. The people in the district turned to be affable and kind; and it, in some degree, was better situated as a center for my work in the Lord.
JULY 1925: My wife and Miriam, my daughter, had to go home, as her brother was in a hopeless condition of health. On Thursday 2, he, John Keegan, fell asleep in Jesus at the age of 26. I resumed my summer Street preaching tours, in Co. Antrim towns and villages; trusting that Gods blessing will rest on the word preached.
1. They’re passing, passing, one by one,
Unto another shore;
And some who trouble us today
Shall trouble us no more.
2. The righteous who Gods word obeys,
And tries to stand the test;
Shall judge himself and pondering say,
Lord, have I done my best?
3. Do not put off till future time,
The act you now can do;
The time to fall and to obey
Is while you're passing through.
4. Be not discouraged in the way,
Though trials great arise;
By faith, and prayer, bid them depart,
And win a heavenly prize.
On the 17 – my wife and Miriam returned from their visit to her parent's house in Prospect, Gorey, County Wexford; during the time I dug my garden; also helped Robert Miller at hay making; besides my Street preaching tours making the month extra busy some days from five in the morning till ten at night; and many days from six till ten at night. Has He not promised to give me strength for the toil of the day.
From time to time, new suits of clothes have been given to me by friends; as far as I remember three nearly new, and four new suits, that cost me nothing, were given as presents; and God knows my measure. On the event of Removing from Crumlin to Oldstone, a Christian man made me a present of a suit of clothes, old fashioned, but clean and respectable.
On Sunday 19 – At the request of Pastor William McGuire, Methodist Minister for Antrim, I took the service in the Methodist Church, Randalstone; also, on Sunday 26. On the 29 – I had a visit from my former friend, from Belfast, William Shannon, and he helped me at Street preaching.
AUGUST 1925: Inside missions are fewly attended: the falling
away has come; and we must go out into the streets and lanes, also
into the highways, and hedges, and invite them to come to the Great Supper
prepared for all in the Gospel: and only eternity shall reveal the good
that’s done by the Evangel in the open air; to the poor, maimed, halt and
blind; to the sick and aged, etc.
On Saturday 8 – I had an interview with the Pilgrim Preachers, and helped them at an Open Air Meeting in Antrim town. A few years ago a band of men whose hearts God had touched started walking tours through the British Isles, preaching the Gospel in towns and villages as they went. This method of Evangel has continued with a considerable amount of interest and success: it being a good training for the foreign field.
The following lines were written in remembrance of the Easter convention in Preston.
1. Burdened and weary, sin stained and sad
Jesus is willing to make thee glad;
Come at His bidding, His gift receive,
Trust in His merit: “Only believe”.
Only believe, only believe,
All things are possible!
2. Out in the desert famished and cold,
Lost and forlorn, far from the fold;
Rioting and pleasure, surely deceive,
Come back to Jesus, “Only believe”.
3. Sickness and weakness, disease and pain,
Enemies lurking, causing no gain;
Christ thy creator, can thee relieve,
Hear Him proclaiming, “Only believe”.
4. Trials and troubles each have their share,
Bring them to Jesus each moment in prayer;
Over thy failures nevermore grieve,
Jesus is with you, “Only believe”.
During that thirty years of service in our Lord's work. . .
1. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning,
Thy prayer shall ascend unto thee;
For thou in thy Glory doth hear me,
And grant a rich blessing so free.
2. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning,
The first of the day shalt be thine;
Thy promise so precious adorning,
The bow in the clouds is a sign.
3. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning,
Before the days work has begun;
For day unto day I will serve Him
Till a crown and mansion are won.
4. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning,
Lord teach me and show me the way;
Take care of thy child and preserve me,
And give me a blessing this day.
Many parcels of Scriptures and tracts came to me during the month; and I had some good preaching in villages; we have learned by experience to avoid rash judgment and sharp controversy; such does no good, and tends to separate friends: to wear the ornament of a meek and quiet Spirit is the best badge, and happy are those when reproach never gets cross, or lose their temper.
1. Out of the depths I cried to thee
For present help and aid.
He heard my cry and said to me,
My child, be not afraid.
2. All times when trials cross my path,
Upon the Lord I’ll call;
This means of Grace the Christian hath,
And it is meant for all.
3. Why should I over anxious be
About my future lot;
My Father cares, then I should be
Content with what I’ve got.
4. In prayer and praise I’ll spend my days,
He gives to him who hath;
Acknowledge Him in all my ways,
God will direct my path.
On Thursday 28 – I preached in a fair in Antrim town; but I prefer the quiet street and courts, to the restless and noisy fairs.
I was preparing to go to Southern England, and was disappointed, but Gods appointments are sometimes our disappointments; and all things work together for good to them that love God; who are called according to His purpose.
SEPTEMBER 1925: The first days were spent in sessions of house to house visitation, tract distribution, and personal dealing; in the course of my work I found some cases of where tracts were read and blessed to the reader; nevertheless the full tidings of that work will never be known at this side of the river, only we are sure of this that we reap whatsoever we sow.
On Saturday 5 – I went to a Motor race and gave to the road side spectators upwards of one thousand pure Gospel tracts. The energies of the competitors to win a prize are super human; and the extreme danger to which they are exposed is very manifest; therefore I would say to all young men: avoid it and go in for the heavenly prize. Phil. 3:14, Prov. 8:4.
On the 11 – while visiting homes on the highway, I had a conversation with a woman in a serious condition of health; and while describing salvation through faith in the Atonement, the light dawned upon her and I have reason to believe that there and then she received remission of sins: this meeting was no chance.
At this time my wife and I attended some Evangelistic meetings held in a tent near Green Mount, Oldstone, by two of the Brethren; and while we admire the earnestness of the men, we did not admire the way they preached Hell fire, and damnation to the people; for while we believe there is a hell for the lost, yet we believe in setting forth God’s love and God’s gift in the power of the Spirit so as that they will be convicted of sin, and brought to repentance.
All human zeal, without power, goes to nothing; and tends to harden, rather than convict; for this reason many places are preached out. While we rejoice in the finished work of our Saviour yet we have something to do; something to feel and something to experience; namely to repent, to believe, to confess; also peace and joy through believing.
On the fifteenth I reached my fifty third birthday, in good health stronger than ever before only I have fewer teeth.
1. Let us come forth unto the Lord,
Outside the camp.
Despised according to the Word,
Outside the camp.
2. Jesus our Lord was crucified,
Outside the gate.
For us He shed His Blood, and died
Outside the gate.
The priests and people mocked Him there,
And yet for them He said a prayer
Outside the gate.
3. The Jewish priest went once a year,
Inside the veil.
Trusting in God, he need not fear,
Inside the veil.
Yes face to face the Lord to meet,
Before the Blood stained Mercy seat
Inside the veil.
4. Jesus our Lord ascended thus,
Inside the veil.
To intercede in heaven for us,
Inside the veil.
Risen the conqueror o'er the grave,
He lives at God’s right hand to save,
Inside the veil.
The present condition of the churches has driven many Christians outside the camp, nevertheless care should be taken not to run into an opposite danger of exclusiveness wherein there is less liberty of the Spirit than before.
Besides the Doctrines specified in the notes for October 1902, regarding the Christians called the Brethren; I beg leave to differ with them in their mood of dispensational division. I believe the Old Testament saints were indwelt by the Holy Spirit; some of them say no. I believe there is no difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom; and the Gospel of the Grace of God; they are interchangeable terms. I believe praying for Salvation is Scriptural and right; and that no herald of the Good news should neglect to preach repentance. I believe that the coming of Christ for his saints; and with, to be the same event, not secretly but suddenly and universally. I believe it is no sin for a Christian to go into a church service, and make the best; also get all the good out of the prayers, singing, preaching, and reading the Scriptures; when there is no better in the district.
On Friday 25 – I preached in a Gospel Tent, Templemore Avenue, Belfast, from the word “Ready”. I was cheered by hearing that God answered prayer in the healing of a little boy with a disease in his nose. On Saturday 26 – I helped Brothers Shannon and Nelson at an open air meeting on Antrim Market Square. On Sunday 27 – we had an open air meeting in Summer Hill, and in Muckamore.
OCTOBER 1925: On Thursday 1 – I preached in the Elim Tabernacle, Melbourne Street, Belfast, from Matthew 5:19; at the close we anointed four persons for healing; and one young woman sought and found salvation.
Concerning the warning throughout on Saturday, September 5 – It is sad to relate that one of the prize winners of that day while running in another race near Dublin was killed.
During the month I had many journeys to and from Belfast. I visited sixty scattered homes. Most Evangelists do their work at night; but during the last five years I have done most of mine during the day.
During the month I had to resist the teaching of exclusiveness, taught by Brethren of Antrim; at the tent mission referred to in September notes. About the same time four missions were simultaneously held round about us in the districts where we sowed much seed during the last three years; namely, the Brethren in Green Mount, the Presbyterians in Muckamore, the Faith Mission in Dunadery, and the Episcopalians in the Masonic Hall, Crumlin. Each mission has been attended with success; and a certain amount of revival enterprize, souls saved, baptized, blessed; others going in for the Baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit. On Saturday 24 – I attended a conference in Dunadery, held by the Faith Mission; It was spiritual, helpful, open, and healing; and the felt presence of God marked the occasion. Who knows what the day of small things may mean for those needy districts. Let us pray on, and toil on.
On Tuesday 27 – I crossed to Liverpool, and spent nineteen days, during which time I visited sixty homes, and preached eleven times in various churches and Mission halls.
NOVEMBER 1925: In the year 1906 and for some years afterwards, prayer with fasting was made for Eliza Jane Jones, Dukinfield, who was periodically oppressed with epileptic fits. I learned from good authority that she is now healed: sometimes answer to prayer is delayed, and we have patiently to wait for it. Romans 8:25. During this tour I anointed two women who were afflicted with cancer, and a young woman suffering form Tubercle disease; also, I administered the Lord’s Supper three times.
On Saturday 14 – I returned again to Belfast, it being the 82nd sea voyage.
In December 1902 – a few believers met together to break bread in a Tent pitched on Sister Crawfords field, Creavery. After the tent was removed, James Gault and a few with him continued to meet on the Lord’s day in the humble home of Thomas Wilson, till a more suitable place was procured and seated; made into a Mission hall capable of holding upwards of one hundred and twenty people: In it were held from time to time prayer meetings and Gospel missions; they had their additions and subtractions; and experienced times of refreshing, and times of reproach and persecution. Since 1902 three brothers and two sisters died, others removed their residence so as that the assembly became few in number.
The worthy elder of the assembly, Brother James Gault, Esky Lane, removed his residence to near Ballymena; and no longer could act as elder of it, so he asked me to undertake the charge; which I very reluctantly consented to do, as the members remaining were only two in number and I can only spare a portion of my time to that part of our Lord’s Vineyard: This I undertook from November 24th 1925.
On Thursday 26 – I crossed to Scotland; and returned again on Monday 30, it being the 84th sea voyage. On Sunday 29 – I preached five times inside; on in the village of Mollandsburn, near where I held a mission, twenty six years ago: but to a new generation: Praise ye the Lord.
DECEMBER 1925: Regarding the missions mentioned in the notes for October, I need only say, while there was a little fruit, the general awakening needed in these districts is still wanting; there is a lack of the unity needed to bring about a revival and while they spoke about this, in acts and works, each mission vindicated themselves; their sect, their pose.
During the month I cycled to and from Creavery; and to the breaking of bread service on the Lord’s Day; also the prayer meeting on Tuesday night, consisting of three Brothers: “Who hath despised the day of small things”, Zach. 4:10.
The year 1925 is now drawing near its close. It has been a record one financially amounting to one hundred and forty pounds; nevertheless the expence has been greater; besides preaching and visiting, the amount of literature deseminated has been great, and the journeys many, and long; and we have much cause for thankfulness.
The year has been more seasonable than the past three years; June and July have been warm and fair; and November and December cold and frosty. Although death has been busy, and many friends have been called home; yet there is a decline of sickness and disease.
In my notes for May, mention is made of impending signs of a revival in the neighborhood of Cloughjordan; news has reached us of fruitful missions in Roscrea, Newtown, and Dirrinvohill; during which many persons got converted.
JANUARY 1926: On Wednesday 6 – I preached for the first time in the new home of James Gault, Ballymarlow, Ballymena. May God bless this man and his wife, who always keeps an open door for God’s people.
I just have information that the Free Gospel Chapel, Academy Street Warrington, was closed on the 1st for lack of finance and workers to keep it going. That chapel was built by Edward Twiss about fifty years ago; and held a unique testimony where only the pure clean Word of God was ministered by the three sons, William, Joseph, and Edward; and after their decease, kept going by three Brothers (Adopted sons of William Twiss) namely Albert, Walter, and Fred Wright. After their death and the removal of active members to other places, the member power were rather weak to keep up the Chapel; so it had to be closed, and the last meetings were well attended and sealed with the blessing of God. See notes on February, 1905. In it I often ministered.
On Sunday 10 – I commenced a mission in the Mission Hall, Creavery. In that part, so characterised to persecute in the past, we got a good hearing, and the meetings were well attended. On Thursday 14 – Pastor Maguire, the Methodist Minister from Antrim preached and on Friday 15 – five Pentecostal sisters from Ballymena testified to Salvation, the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, and healing. I did not press for decisions, but preached the Word, trusting in God to bless it to receptive souls. I cycled home every night, a journey of seven miles in the midst of very stormy weather. During the month I heard of the death of my old friend Johnston Stoney, Emmel Castle, Cloughjordan; also the death of Mrs. Myrescough, Preston. The mission lasted three weeks, ending on Sunday 31st.
FEBRUARY 1926: It has pleased God from age to age during the history of the New Testament dispensation, to raise up great and extraordinary men such as Augustain, Venerable Bede, Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Luther, Bunyon, Fox, John Wesley and George Whitefield, General Booth, Moody Spurgeon, Finney; and in my own time William Irvine for Southern Ireland; and W. P. Nicholson for Northern Ireland. Such men said hard things and could not in everything be imitated or followed; were rejected by their own country men; and cast out of the orthodox and state churches because they broke through rules, and traditions hurtful to the revivals that followed their testimonies. I am not at all surprised that Nicholson has been ruled out of nearly all the churches.
During the month, I took the meetings on the Lord’s Day in Creavery, and the Tuesday night prayer meeting; also, I had many journeys and visited a number of homes.
On the 19 – by the help and grace of God, I preached (or completed) thirty one years out fully in the work of God. Praise ye the Lord, Amen.
The following verse is written supplementary to the first piece of poetry in the book.
In joy and distress,
Yet onward I press,
With the promise of God to sustain.
Till I hear the “Well done”,
And the prize it is won.
In a land without sorrow or pain.
The following verse is written supplementary to the poetry “Things That Remain” given in December notes, 1896.
The Spirit of God still abides
To comfort and strengthen the saint;
Revealing the things that are Christ’s,
Renewing the health of the faint.
Then quench not His flame that’s within,
His filling and joy still retain.
And never more grieve Him with sin,
But strengthen the things that remain.
About the 24 – I rewrote my poetry and sent many copies to different publishers; what the results will be, or how many of them will be published I cannot tell.
In the district where I now live, outside Presbyterianism and Episcopalianism, there are only the Faith Mission, and the Brethren; and naturally we expected the right hand of fellowship from both; but found the members all right but hindered by their leaders. The Faith Mission afraid of us hurting their Prayer Union; and the Brethren refusing fellowship because we don’t belong to them. I have tried by sound reasoning and Scripture to produce a give and take recognition and fellowship but of no avail. “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” Isa. 8:16. In return we pray for them and try to treat them kindly; and give them credit for all the good people, and Scriptural truth found in both. See note for March 5th.
On the 25 – I attended the Brethren Conference in Ballymena; it was exceptionally good, being both practical and general; and if the teaching given on that occasion was only practical in every assembly and life, it would produce much for the Kingdom and glory of God. How many of God’s people suffer judgement, chastisement, rebukes, Spiritual loss, etc. because of the influence of leaders causing them to add or take from the Scriptures, we cannot tell.
On the 5 – I received the following letter from the Editor of Bright Words; I insert it to show how small things may result in healing breaches; also the right spirit manifested, how good it is.
Dear Brother Long:
I thank you for offering these three pieces. I am keeping one of them for insertion some time – More I cannot promise; as I am pretty crowded up with verse. The Lord's richest blessing be upon you. Yours in His love,
Horace E. Govan
On the 9 – I crossed to England, and had four weeks mission work; returning again the 6th of April; it would be the 86th sea voyage.
I held a weeks meetings in the Old Cross Mission, and lodged with my old friend, William Langton, 17 Hill Street, Dukinfield. Also, I had three days meetings in Pastor Howtons church, Glossop; staying in his Beth Kapha home, where people are ministered to, regarding their Spirit, soul, and body. I also had a weekend in George Street Mission, Manchester, and on the return journey attended the Easter Convention at Preston; where I was an eye witness to Pastor Stephen Jeffereys ministering the gift of healing to blind, deaf, dumb, halt, lame, consumptive, ruptures, sick, weak, infirm; and enough of conclusive evidence to prove the fact that God is restoring all the nine gifts to the church. Hallelujah!
APRIL 1926: On the 11 – I preached for the last time in Creavery Mission hall. For three reasons I thought it best to give up that hall, which I had on hand for six months. 1st because it is seven miles away; 2nd because I do be so often in England and other parts, and is trusting to others to work it during my absence; 3rd because the people in the district either persecute, or refuse to come.
The rewriting of many pieces of poetry in February; and sending them to various periodicals, has not been fruitless as the number of the “Christian Herald” for April 8 – inserted and published the following:
Among the publications
That give the Gospel call,
The noble “Christian Herald”
Ranks equal with them all.
Containing many pages,
The people they may choose,
To read from Spurgeon’s sermons,
Or from the current news.
Tis orthodox in doctrine,
It’s simple, yet sublime,
Containing news prophetic,
Or for the present time.
It is a Christian paper,
Worthy of all to read;
There’s something that’s instructive
For every sect and creed.
The “Christian Herald” gives warning
To all, both young and old,
Of perilous times soon coming
By prophets long foretold.
Then heed its word of counsel,
As you read it day by day;
And ask God’s grace to help you
To walk the narrow way.
The “Christian Herald” gives comfort,
To all the faithful few
Who work and live for Jesus
And to His Word keep true.
It tells us Christ is coming
To take away His Bride:
Ye saints for Him get ready,
Live on the victory side.
Then read the “Christian Herald”
And for each number pray;
It is a good companion
To help you on the way;
Good reports are published
Of revivals far and near,
And to all who love our Saviour
It says, “Be of good cheer”!
The following piece of poetry was written in memory of the Easter convention held in Preston on April 6, 1926, and can be sung to the tune, “For ever with the Lord.”
1. For every gift of God,
We praise His precious Name.
According to His Holy Word,
Twas then and now the same.
Praise, for the gift of faith,
“Wisdom” and “knowledge” too,
Our Saviour is the same today,
His mighty works to do.
2. Wonders, and signs are done
In Jesus precious Name.
The gifts of healing are restored
Unto His Church again.
And we can trust our Lord
For health and daily bread.
To purchase them for all mankind,
His Precious Blood was shed.
3. With everlasting joy,
The righteous are set free
To praise the Lord with other tongues,
And gift of prophesy.
Their message is made plain,
Another gift is given.
He who interprets in His Name,
His gift has come from heaven.
4. The Ransomed shall return,
Unto their blest abode.
They look for a new heaven and earth,
The city of their God.
Standing with armour on,
Discerning what is right.
And say to Satan’s host “be gone”.
Before the truth and light.
5. If thou should hear His voice
Speaking aloud today,
Arise, and harden not thy heart,
And unto Jesus pray.
Within thine own abode,
At noon and evening hour;
Just seek the Lord with all thy heart
For Pentecostal power.
John Long, April 14th
On the 20 – I started to cycle to the South of Ireland and on the way preached in Monaghan, Cavan, Roscommon, Adare, Newtown, Cloughjordan, Burntwood, etc.
MAY 1926: On Tuesday 4 – the great strike began in England. On Thursday 6 – I attended a Christian Endeavour Conference in Roscrea. The weather was extra fair, and I returned again, after a three week's tour on Tuesday 11 – On some days I cycled 80 miles a day. May God water the seed and bless His own truth.
There are in the world some good Christian Societies. I will mention a few which I think to be the best, namely: The Methodist Class Meeting Society; Faith Mission Prayer Union; The Christian Endeavour Society; Foreign Missions Societies; The Orphan Society; Young Men’s Christian Association; The Temperance Society; Young Woman’s Christian Association; The British and Foreign Bible Society; Rescue Societies; The Religious Tract Society; Society for Christianity among Jews;
Up to the present, with few exceptions, I have found a shortage of Christian fellowship in country districts of Antrim. God alone supplies this lack. If the Brethren had not been so exclusive; and the Faith Mission so limited to truth: in short, if both these Christian fellowships were more honest with all Scripture, they would not have any difficulty regarding me. I thank God I belong to neither of them, yet I do not despise any of them in so far as they obey the law of Christ: and God uses them all.
When the societies, sects, and assemblies of the Christian world keep open and charitable towards others who differ from them, and who through various reasons are not members; they grow in numbers and experience Gods blessing; but when exclusive and narrow, they become hard, dry, and uncharitable; God's Spirit operating in a variety of ways in the earth to bring to naught the wisdom of man.
Let all who say the days of miracles are past, read that book “A Thousand Miles Miracle” or that letter Biography “Sudhur Sundar Singh,” an Indian native Evangelist; and those we have a record of miracles similar to those mentioned in the Bible. Miracles, signs, and manifestations accompanied Evangelical preaching all along; but mostly attended those persecuted and suffering for the truth; but never those at ease in Zion.
The following piece of poetry came to me while on an open air tour in South riding Tipperary, during the summer of 1912.
Preach to the Irish people,
Where Roman darkness reigns.
And give the Holy Scriptures
To break traditions chains;
The day of Victory is coming,
Its dawning is begun.
And all who loves the daylight
Look for the rising sun.
A people that’s in bondage,
Like Israel of old.
The lost sheep must be sought for,
And brought back to the fold.
Their cry goes up to heaven,
We hear the people sigh.
And God who loves old Ireland,
Will hearken to their cry.
Blessed is the man that soweth
Beside all waters fare.
The good seed for the Saviour,
Watered with tears and prayer.
A word that’s fitly spoken,
How true it is and good.
To hungry souls more precious,
Than any earthly food.
During the last six months, I found it necessary to rest my throat from open air preaching, owing to an inclination to a hoarseness in my voice; which may have arisen from the inclement weather, and many wettings I got during the last two years; yet God supplied the lack of this by an increase of inside opportunities to preach in various places.
I find the Methodist Church the most open for lay workers to take the pulpit; except the Pentecostal people; and on Wednesday, 26, I preached in the Methodist Church, Antrim. During the last week of this month I read upwards of ten hundred pages of the writings of Origin, one of the pre-Nicean fathers and while one has to use his own judgment concerning some views; yet we cannot but admire the value they set on the Holy Scriptures in those Primitive times; also how amiably they upheld the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Trinity and the Resurrection.
JUNE 1926: On the first of June I landed in Liverpool for a month's tour; and returned again on 30 – it would be the 88th sea voyage. At the request of Reginald Lunt, I undertook a cycling tour to Lands End, preaching the Gospel by the way both inside and outside; together with personal dealing and distribution of pure literature. I spent two days in Ludlow with Brother Turner formerly from Stockport; and since then has got the Baptism with the Holy Ghost; it makes a great change; also I spent two days in Bristol with an ex-Plymouth Brethren man named Anderson, who also has got the same experience according to Acts 2:4. I cycled from Bristol to Exeter, seventy-five miles in one day, where I was held up with rain; and I took lodging for a week. I did not go to Cornwall as I intended, so I returned again on a cycling tour through the midlands all the way to Manchester and Liverpool.
A chorus that I heard some time ago came up to my mind during lonely hours, in a strange land.
Turn thine eyes upon Jesus,
Look well in His beautiful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His Glory and grace.
Every where I went the chorus was sung with power and Glory attending. The alterations in my plans were Divinely overruled for good; and many things I experienced had I gone otherwise I might have missed.
A Devon and Somerset Motto met my eyes twice, “A soft answer turneth away wrath; but angry words stirreth up strife.”
The Brethren with the large “B” let me break bread, but gave me no warm Christian fellowship. In truth I prefer the brethren with the small “b”. “One is your master even Christ and all ye are brethren”. It will be grand when our Lord comes and class distinction, and names, and sects are no more for ever; and all is love, unity, and one family: but why not have a little of heaven here, and excel in brotherly love?
JULY 1926: During this month we were again favoured with a visit from our former friend and brother, Francis Acheson; a very successful and active Colporteur although now seventy two years old; and brings forth fruit in his old age. Praise the Lord!
July the twelfth is a stirring day in Ulster, owing to the Orangemen celebrating the victory of King William the third in the event of the battle of the Boyne. Many Christian fellowships and societies unite together in Conference meetings for the deepening of Spiritual life. What a difference between worldly gatherings and the holy fellowship of all filled with the Holy Ghost. We thought it good to redeem the time by the broadcast distribution of pure Gospel tracts and booklets on the highways and byeways in the district of Antrim town.
Early in the month news reached us of the death of John Govan in America. Under his ministry I was convicted, and first publicly decided for Christ in Cloughjordan about the year 1890. There were few men like him in house to house visitation, and personal work, he excelled.
On the 12th, I had good reason to believe that an Orangeman who served the Lord for eight years, who was in a backsliding state got restored again. On the 13 – a very sudden death occurred to a Christian young woman at Muckamore; she was knocked down by a Motor Bus, and killed instantaneously; this awakened an interest in the gospel in those districts. On the 15 – we had the joy of seeing a young woman converted very suddenly as the outcome of personal conversation on the Market Square in Antrim; she was ripe for the Gospel, and the change was very manifest and real. On the 17 – my former friend, William Shannon from Belfast, helped me at two open air meetings; one in Summer Hill and another in Antrim by the river side: On Thursday 22 – he took the Faith Mission Prayer Union meeting in Ballyrobin School house; and on Sunday 25 – took the Faith Mission in Oldstone Hall. On Thursday 29 – I preached at the Faith Mission Prayer Union in Ballyrobin; God caused one man to fall out, and another to fall in, so as to make the way for me: I have seen this take place a few times during my life; at any rate Jericho's Walls are falling down flat; and there is a better feeling and a growing unity in these districts. On Saturday 31 – I preached twice on the streets of Randalstown, and gave out some literature.
AUGUST 1926: Although we walk the narrow way: we try to take a broad view of Christianity in the earth; God is working by the same Spirit in a variety of ways; and by the power of the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ is drawing people unto Him for life. His Word is diffused, read, and preached in nearly every nation under heaven; and is destructive to Idolatry; and false religious society which is fading away before the light of the cross. Differences of opinion on several points, such as church government should not hinder fellowship; while the felt presence of God and consequently the fruits of it, bear witness that God is among all assemblies of Believers; and those who are so narrow as to disbelieve this, get dry and stiff and stale.
On Sunday 1st, I went in to Antrim town and preached the Gospel by the riverside; afterwards I attended the morning service in the Methodist Church. On Monday 2 – I preached on the streets of Kells and Connor, with liberty and power; proclaiming Repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. On Thursday 6 – I cycled to Derrykeevan; and returned again on Friday 7 – preaching on the streets in Portadown, Lurgan, and Moira. Having read the writings of Origin and gained all the information concerning Christianity in the third century; no sooner finished when I began to read the Writings of Irenaeus, which gives a peep into the Christian religion in the second century.
Concerning the Breaking of Bread on the Lord's day, we believe in doing
it every available opportunity; notwithstanding circumstances has hindered
us of doing it once a week. The nearest assembly on open lines would
be nine miles away. In the district where we are we have no persons
likeminded to join with us in our own home; and I am so often away and
other interruptions has hindered us of a week by week remembrance in our
own house. Generally speaking, the Plymouth Brethren in the north
of Ireland are too exclusive; and the churches of the reformation too worldly,
formal; not purged from ritualism and worldly pleasures. The pure,
and open assemblies are few in country districts; and great opposition
to any men of God who attempt to form them. The above Brethren, among
whom are many good men, who know the Scriptures well; according to my opinion
err in their manner of interpretation of certain Scriptures, and ones that
appertain to life and Godliness. They have no appointed Pastors;
also, their manner of keeping children of God from the Lord's table has
occasioned much strife, hardness and division.
On the 9 – I preached twice in the town of Ahoghill. The field is the world; the good seed is the Word of God; let us keep on Sowing beside all waters. The same Commission of our risen Lord is to us, as He gave to the apostles. Mark 16:15 to 18.
On Thursday 12 – By the Grace of God I preached in the Elim Church, Castle Street Ballymena, to a full and earnest and well saved congregation, from Revelation 5: The Lamb and the Book.
I have read with great profit “Irenaeus against Heresies”; I would commend it to all Believers and Christian workers as one of the oldest and best books I know to establish and confirm us in our Orthodox faith; it is so sound on: The doctrines of the Divinity of Jesus Christ and the Atonement; also on the Trinity, the inspiration of the Scriptures; the immortality of the soul and eternal punishment. Though ancient, it is modern in its tone; and establishes the truth of Christianity beyond all doubt, showing how firmly it was founded by Christ and His Apostles; and refutes all unsound heresies which assailed the Primitive Church in those days; also, the absence of all the corrupt doctrines of the Modern Church of Rome showing in what purity they held the truth according to the Scriptures in the first century after the Apostles.
No sooner has the great and unnecessary coal strike come to its end; when on Sunday morning 15 – twenty four counties were shaken by an earthquake; as if God was speaking in an extraordinary manner to the inhabitants of England. “Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”. Eph. 5:14.
On Saturday 21 – I preached twice in the village of Muckamore; and on Sunday 22, by the Mills in Antrim. We break bread in our own home; not with the intention of separating from every other assembly; but as a matter of convenience and obedience. Wherefore because I belong to no sect, I have more fellowship than any other person throughout the British Isles, with many sects; while if it were otherwise a sectarian connection, and adhering to it alone would throw me out of fellowship in many places. Having got a loan of many volumes of the pre-Nicean Christian Library, I have greatly enjoyed “The Recognitions Of Clement”; Simon Peter's contention with Simon ______ is a magnificent piece of Orthodox Theology, worthy of a better circulation; and gives up a vision of the later part of the first century; and of the life and labours of that great apostle.
Very ancient Ecclesiastical history is good and interesting to be read by the full grown Christian; nevertheless, we must not judge the Scriptures by it, but we must judge them by the Scriptures, for the seeds of error crept into the church at a very early age. It would seem to me that repentance and baptism for the remission of sins were very closely connected in teaching and administration in those days; but we must consider the condition of things; and the rule of demarcation, necessary to those newly turning from Judaism and Idolatry. See Acts 2:38 and compare it with Acts 10:47.
We may ask ourselves the question that beside the order, and office of Bishop, Elder, or Presbyter, and Deacon; is it Scriptural for an Evangelist to minister the ordinances? Let us examine the Word of God concerning this matter. First I might say that the above offices in the Primitive Church were appointed without the ceremony, show or education required by the churches of the reformation today; Conversion and graces and gifts, and being sound in the faith, were all that were necessary. See Acts 20:28; 1 John 2:27. Let us look at the great and general commission, of our Lord, for all time.
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28:18 to 20. Now any man who is called of God and used of God in the Evangel; whether he be pastor, apostle, a Evangelist; has the promise, and authority of this great commission of our Lord. See 1 Peter 4:10. Philip the Evangelist baptized the Eunuch. Acts 8:36. Ananias a disciple, laid on hands and baptized Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:15 to 17. Paul instructing young Timothy said, “Do the work of an Evangelist.” 2 Tim. 4:5. In common practice, it was not the Bishops, nor the Apostles, that ministered baptism; but the servile ones in the church. See John 4:2, 1 Cor. 1. What we said about baptism, can be equally said about the Lord's Supper. In Acts 20:7, we read “And upon the first day of the week, when the Disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them."
On the 26 – I preached in Ballyrobin Faith Mission Prayer Union from Titus 3:5 to 8. Viz. Grace, faith and works. Emphasizing the great need of the latter in these districts.
On the 31 – I started on a cycling tour to Crossgar, preaching in towns and villages, and distributing tracts; and from there to Belfast where I spent the night, from which I cycled to Bangor.
SEPTEMBER 1926: On the first, I cycled to Bangor; returning again to Oldstone on the 2, preaching in Holywood on the way; each day marked with Providential occurrences; and much cause to magnify the Lord for His mercy, love, and grace.
On the 4 – I went to the Motor Races and distributed two thousand tracts to the spectators standing round the course. Out of the few who refused was a clergyman who said it was not for nothing he got his college education; I said to him that it is not education qualifies for the work of the ministry but the Holy Spirit. My text for the day was “Behold the mountains was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17.
On the 9 – I cycled to Larne; and on the return journey preached in Ballmure, Ballyeaston, Ballyclare, and Doagh.
September 14 – During my leisure hours I continued my study of ancient ecclesiastical history of the second and third centuries; and understand from Tertullian that the early Christian church taught and practiced obedience to civil governments, magistrates, Titus 3:1; that Christians should not take up the sword, nor enter Military service, Matt. 26:22; nor take an oath, Matt. 5:34; nor resist evil, Matt. 5:39; nor retaliate, Luke 6:27 to 29; nor go to law with each other, 1 Cor. 6:1; and not flee from persecution; unless God wills it so to preserve testimony, Acts 21:13. I learned also that they taught moderation and temperance, and self denial in dress, in eating, and drinking and total abstinence from all worldly pleasures, etc. Luke 14:25 to 27. We rejoice to know that we gave these neglected truths some place in our experience and teaching, particularly during the years of the great war. If all Christians were so to act, what a mighty testimony they would be in the earth; then only are we the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
On the 15 – I humbly thank Almighty God that I have reached the fifty fourth mile stone; with the promise of His presence during life; and heaven at the end: my daily text on the Text Calendar being, “The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth”, Psalm 121:8. “There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9.
On Saturday and Sunday the 18th and 19th I preached in the Full Gospel Assembly; Hopeton Street, Belfast. At the after meeting a time of refreshing from the Lord rested on us and we all got blessed. On Thursday 21 – William Shannon and I went to Raven Hill Road, Belfast and preached in the new Elim Pentecostal tabernacle; it is one of the largest buildings I ever spoke in being seated to hold two thousand people beside antechambers, also, a Baptismal cistern. It is marvellous the increase of their people in the British Isles, though they are objects of undeserved hatred and reproach because of the gifts.
OCTOBER 1926: I received a Telegram from my Warrington friend Reginald Lunt, Aubrey House, Latchford, to come over, as he was unwell and anxious for Christian fellowship and prayer; so I crossed to England, where I spent the whole month. After ministering to my worthy friend for eight days, and rejoiced in his recovery, I took my annual visit to Preston, Leigh, Bury, Manchester, Burton on Trent, Derby, Castleton, etc. and preached in Methodist Churches, Baptist, Pentecostal, Brethren, Mission Halls, Holiness Church, and private homes.
On Sunday 17 – In Kelbourne Baptist Church, I dedicated an infant and at the night meeting in Derby Temperance Hall, I anointed two persons for healing. After a full month of effectual ministry, I returned again to Ireland, the ninetieth sea voyage, on November 2nd . The harm done to the nation by the coal strike is tremendous; the scarcity of fuel, also the high price of it makes it hard for poor people to live. It is one of the peculiar troubles that has occurred since the great war.
On the 11 – I crossed to Scotland, where I spent four days and preached six times in The Church of God, West Port Hall, Kilsyth. On the square in the open air I preached on the Kingdom of God; on Sunday morning I preached on the subject of “Worship”. In the afternoon on the subject of “Redemption”; at night on the subject of the “Will of God”: I returned again on the 15 – It would be the 92nd sea voyage.
During the year prayer has been answered in the healing and restoration of four Christian friends, namely, Mrs. Kelso, Burn Side, Antrim; Sister Clarke, Derby; Reginald Lunt, Warrington; John Goodall, Leigh. They were afflicted with nervous break downs, and paralysis. Two were completely healed; and two were partially healed. I may add sister Miller of Killsley. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psa. 147:3.
DECEMBER 1926: The following piece of poetry has been published in this months copy of “Bright Words.”
The Sent Ones
1. It pleaseth God through preaching
To save them that believe,
And build up saints by teaching
When they His Word receive.
He sends to spread the tidings,
A faithful mighty host.
Although but earthen vessels
Filled with the Holy Ghost.
2. The harvest, ah, ‘tis plenteous
And labourers are few,
To preach the Gospel daily
And do as Paul would do;
In highways and hedges,
Out on the Market Square,
Unto all creeds and classes,
The message to declare.
3. Nor should we rest from labour
Until our work is done;
On, still, to tell the story
Of God’s beloved Son.
Till every heathen nation
Turn from their sin to God,
Accepting Gods Salvation
Through faith in Jesus’ blood.
The annual distribution of Scriptural Block Calendars is one of the most fruitful part of my literature work for God; these are mostly given to contributors to my work except some specified poor persons whom I endeavour to help in the Word of Truth. It was in Lennoxtown, Scotland, in November, 1900, that I first met a Golden Text Calendar; then I was undergoing the greatest financial trial I ever experienced; and it resulted in the greatest Spiritual blessing by way of receiving great and precious promises; also, the greatest financial help to my work; for in this year of Grace they cost me ten pounds but were a means to bring me in fifty.
If neglected the Calendar may be of no use; but if careful and rightly used day by day they will be a great blessing; as the daily text frequently turns out to suit experience and the lover of God’s Word proves the fact that God doth speak to man through the Uram, namely light; and the Thummin, truth of the Holy Scriptures.
On Sunday 6 – I preached in Ballymevea Brethren Hall near Kells; this assembly is in charge of David McNiely one of the sons of Jeramiah McNiely, who was one of the four men who prayed in the revival of 1859. I saw him and talked with him before his death.
My work for God consists of day and night work; day work constitutes street preaching, house to house visitation, personal conversations, tract distribution, etc. Night work consists of Gospel Missions, Prayer meetings, Gospel services, etc. besides Lord's Day ministry, which consists of fellowship meetings, Bible Classes, and Gospel meetings, Sunday School work, etc. Most Evangelists do the biggest part of their ministry at night; but during the last six years I have done most of mine during the day. What is called Gospel Missions ought to be the most powerful means of Evangelization, seeing it gathers the people together for prayer, praise and preaching, and reading the Scriptures, nevertheless because we are living in days when the people won’t come to missions, and many can’t come, because of old age and bodily infirmities, and other obstacles; the work of going to them by the above means is a good work, and Scriptural in its commission and operation.
Much as I admire Tertullian for his famous tracts on The Doctrine of the Trinity, and on the Immortality of the soul and on the Resurrection of the body; I beg leave to differ regarding the denial of pardon for great sins committed after Baptism and prefer the doctrine taught in the article of the Church of England. “Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism.” After we have received the Holy Ghost, it is possible to lapse, and fall into sin; and by the Grace of God arise again and amend their lives. Tertullian in his tract on Modesty, denied the grant of repentance and restoration to Church fellowship to such Christians as willfully fell into the sins of Adultery and fornication after their Baptism. No doubt but these are great sins, and bring great reproach, and do much harm to Gods cause; and are punished with temporal consequences yet not too great for the Grace of God to pardon; and the Blood of Jesus to cleanse; and we have examples of Judah, Samson, David, The Prodigal Son; also the Incestuous man in 1 Cor. 5:1 to 5, together with the many exhortations to repentance in all the Scriptures; to prove that there is repentance, pardon and restoration for all manner of sin, except the Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Matt. 12:31,32. Besides Scripture we have the testimony and experience of many who got restored and whose lives afterwards, as David’s and Peters, brought fourth fruits meet for repentance. See also 1 John 2:1, 2, also Rev. 2:21.
December 25 – In addition to what I have said else where concerning the change of the Jewish or seventh day Sabbath to the Lord’s Day; or first day of the week; I would like to say that the Old Covenant Sabbath ceased with the resurrection of our Lord, Matt. 28:1. “For the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the law.” Heb. 7:12. From that time the Christians kept the Lord’s Day a rest day, a rejoicing day, a memorial day, Acts 20:7, Rev. 1:10. Nearly all the Anti-Nicean Primitive writers speak of the Lord's Day; or first day of the week as the day observed and set apart from Apostolic times for public worship and rest. A section of people called Seventh Day Adventists teach together with the Jews the keeping of the Seventh Day; but I regret to say that this section of Christians err in denying the Immortality of the soul; and teach its non existence between death and the resurrection.
All Christendom keeps and rightly keeps Sunday, not as the ancient Heathen did, a day of devotion to the sun; but as the ancient Christians did a day of devotion to the Risen Son of Righteousness. The Old Testament Sabbath ceased with the Jews polity; the New Testament Sabbath was established by our Lord’s Resurrection from the dead on the first day of the week. Mark 16:1, 2. He broke bread on it, Luke 24:30. He appeared to His disciples and blessed them on it, John 20:19 to 22 and 26 to 29. He sent the Holy Spirit down from heaven on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1 to 4. The Apostles and early church continued to meet together on it for fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. Acts 2:42 and 20 to 7; 1 Cor. 10:1, 2; Rev. 1:10. the wisdom of God appointed for man and necessary so one day in seven a rest day. Gen. 2:3. The Christians have a Holy Day; appointed for rest and worship. There remaineth therefore the keeping of a Sabbath for the people of God, Heb. 4:9. Not with the letter and bondage of Mount Sinai’s law; but with the liberty and rest, and joy of Mount Sion. Therefore seeing that the day is sacred it becomes every nation, and person, to cease from unnecessary work; and avoid profaning the day with pleasures or talk. Although the law of Moses is fulfilled and abolished, we should observe the higher Spiritual Standard by our Lord in observing what he said about each Commandment in the dialogue and do all things according to the pattern shown us in the Sermon on the mount.
I would like to say somewhat concerning adding to, or taking from the Word of God; a solemn and important subject; and one that I fear much is not attended to by most Christians. Much could be said about it but I will try under three heads to explain how much it covers.
First, it means any translator, or printer adding to or taking from the sixty six books that constitute the received and acknowledged canon; of whose authority and inspiration there was never any doubt in the church. Second, it would mean teaching or practising any doctrine not contained in it; or curtailing or neglecting any truth contained in it. Third, it would mean suspending or misplacing any book chapter, or verse to another dispensation, which is applicable to the present time; or vise versa.
To read any Biography, journal, or expository writing proving them by the Scriptures; is permissible, and not either adding to, nor taking from the Canon of Scripture. Neh. 8:8, Dan. 1:17. Men and women have written Hymns and Tracts, and expository books aided by the Spirit of God, and agreeable with the Word of truth; like John Bunyans, and has not willingly added to the Canon of Scripture, nor taken from; so also, records of Martyrs and Ecclesiastical history, and of holy lives. If there were none of these there would be a lack of knowledge, which is profitable to know, regarding fulfilled prophesy; and God’s dealings with civil governments and the church.
To sum up the whole matter we have no right to believe or teach any doctrine of which there is neither command nor example in the Word of God; and no right to deny or set aside any command or precept contained therein. Rev. 22:18,19.
Monday 27 – Two articles came to me by post; most valuable one, a new Long Premier Bible which I needed for general use; the other a new suit of clothes: both sent as presents. For these and all other gifts we Praise the Lord. Providential happenings resulted in the Bible being sent from England; and the suit of clothes from southern Ireland.
On Thursday 30 – I preached twice by the river side in Antrim town, and gave out some Gospel periodicals; in peace and good will we have reached the last day of 1926 a year of toiling and sowing; yet a record one financially, which amounted to about one hundred and forty eight pounds fifteen shillings.